The glimpser’s day started off with a much needed, delicious breakfast from our wonderful chef Licelot—bologna and cheese sandwiches. They had a big day ahead of them as they attended Cormidom, a small scale mining company an hour outside of Bonao and later an anti-mining camp at Loma Miranda (Miranda Mountain). This provided students with the opportunity of getting both the perspective of the mining business’ influence on the community and the communities’ opinion on the harmfulness of mining. Both experiences were equally eye opening as they made glimpsers dig deep into their question of the day: To what extent does a community need to contribute to an environment to maintain sustainability?
When the students arrived at the mine they had no idea what to expect, but as soon as the speaker Johnathan Ruiz, a mine manager, started explaining the long processes of establishing a mine, all ears were open. The students hung on to each word he said and were not shy of asking questions such as: How does the mine give back to the community? What are the environmental effects of the land after mining? And much more. Later, Johnathan accompanied them on a tour of the mine and explained the process of extracting copper, the colors that different minerals made once reacting with water, and the environmental measures the company will take after they’ve extracted all of the minerals. Johnathan was very charismatic and even let them keep some cool rocks. He was left with a huge muchos gracias Johnathan!
After enjoying a big plate of La Bandera (A traditional Dominican dish), glimpers were on their way to Loma Miranda to speak to some leaders of the anti-mining camp. There, they met multiple local environmental activists who informed them on the dangers mining has on the communities living on Loma Miranda. Loma Miranda has fresh, clean water that is facing a high risk of being contaminated due to the mining companies whom are fighting to occupy the land. This water is vital to the communities living on Loma Miranda, who are constantly being threatened by the mining companies to leave. Hearing this information drove some of the glimpsers to become emotional as they realized that this in not only a problem in the Dominican Republic, but globally. An inspiring talk with one of the environmental activists encouraged the students to spread the word about places like Loma Miranda. Surely, they will be following up on some research when they return home!
The glimpsers are most definitely missing their families back at home, so from us to you, buenos noches.
-First student Lider Del Dia, Elena Ruiz